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Design Elements

with Landscape Designer Louise McDaid

According to the Telegraph in the UK, Piet Oudulf is the most influential garden designer of the past 25 years.
Not just one of them, but THE one!
The article goes on to say that Piet has redefined what’s meant by the term ‘Naturalism” in planting.
Naturalism’s the exact opposite of clipped hedges and neat structured rows of planting.
Prior to Piet’s designs, Naturalism also tended to mean looking a bit wild, in the way of a wild meadow that you might come across somewhere in the UK.
Not terribly wild by Australian standards.
Then there was a bit of envy by the writer, because, somehow, Piet Oudolf’s garden remained intact and according to his design years later.
No wonder the owner of Scampston Manor employed him to restore their garden which had been in the family for 900 years.
What an inspirational garden.

Listen to this…

Naturalistic planting can be appealing, and look quite tidy, if not hard to photograph.
Just follow the type of plants that Piet Oudulf recommends, and also the ones that Louise suggested to substitute, because we can’t get them all here in Australia.
The key is using long-lived clump-forming perennials which didn’t spread around by aggressive rooting or seeding and so retain their form as distinct groups.

Plants like Achilleas, Alliums, grasses, Helenium, Molinia, Sanguisorba and Astilbe.
Because there are no trees to speak of except right at the edges of the garden, the conditions of sun and shade won't change over time and the scheme might last almost in perpetuity with a bit of maintenance.
If you have any questions about this week’s Design Elements, send it our email address, or just post it.


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